Monday, February 9, 2009


This has been a fairly productive day. Duke Power is still working at the barn - I believe it has been about an 8 hour job so far. They've dug up part of the barnyard, cut concrete next to the stable & have finally managed to find the short in the underground line. Last report was that they would come back tomorrow to repair the concrete. I'll be glad to get power back to the stable as that is where I prefer to do my dyeing. But I did manage to get some dyeing done!

The 5th graders did needlefelting as part of my residency with them. They had a great time with it but pretty well managed to deplete my supply of dyed wool. I pulled a Tunis fleece out of the barn that I did not intend to spin as the tips were matted. I trimmed the clumps off the tips with scissors, washed a pot full of fleece & divided it up into jars that I filled with dye. I steamed the dye jars in my roaster oven that I set up in the carport since there is no power to the stable. I now have lots of nicely colored wool drying & will throw it in my bag for my next school assignment.

I also wound several skeins of yarn so that I can get back to dyeing again tomorrow. I have an order to go out on Wednesday so will do that first thing in the morning. The customer simply asked for blue/green or something wild so this will be fun! I also got a photo today from a gentleman who ordered yarn right before Christmas. He lives in Vermont & had bought some of my yarn in the past. He crochets it into large blankets that are an amazing array of colors & textures.

I spent some time cleaning in the chicken house today. That is one of those chores that I don't mind doing even though the fresh bedding in the laying boxes will soon be pitched out on the floor. The birds have a few boxes that they like to throw the hay or straw out of & others that they leave intact, simply laying their eggs & acting like civilized birds. Right now the birds must be getting plenty of calcium in their diets as I haven't had problems with cracked shells as the eggs hit the wood in the bottom of the bare laying boxes. Chickens will eat egg shells which is a simple way of keeping their calcium up. I have been cooking plenty of excess eggs for the dogs & putting the shells back out for the chickens.

Laying has also increased dramatically! There are still lots & lots of those small pullet eggs but the number of extra large eggs is also increasing. All of the eggs are washed, weighed, sorted & packed by the end of each day so I can tell by how much time I spend over the sink that the birds are getting busy again.

Pig Update: Al got a call today that our next batch of piglets are weaned & ready to be picked up. We'll get them on Saturday. The current pigs are really growing out nicely. They've also become friendlier as I've had more time to visit with them. They are cautious though, allowing me to scratch them under the chin but never to put my hand over their head.

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